Providing insecticide treated bed nets in antiretroviral treatment clinics in Malawi: a pilot study|
Makombe, SD; Harries, AD; Bizuneh, K; Schouten, EJ; Zoya, J; KabuluzI, S; Kamoto, K & Lowrance, DW
HIV infection and malaria, two of the most common and important health problems in sub-Saharan Africa, have been demonstrated to have interactive pathology. In Malawi, where malaria is endemic, and antiretroviral therapy (ART) delivery is scaling up, we piloted integration of long-lasting insecticide-treated bednets (ITN) provision in three ART clinics. In July 2006, 1,910 ITNs were delivered to pilot sites, and ART clinic staff personnel were briefed on ITN provision and use of a monitoring system. Sites were assessed using a structured questionnaire in December 2006. During the pilot period, 1,282 ITNs were distributed to patients. A large proportion (70%) of ART patients at these sites received pilot study ITNs. Site adherence to the monitoring system was variable. Seventeen patients were interviewed, 14 of whom were ART patients who had received ITNs; 11 of these (79%) had slept under the net the previous night. This pilot demonstrates the feasibility of ITN distribution to patients attending ART clinics in Malawi. Programmatic and policy considerations for national roll-out include the need to: 1) adopt a standardized monitoring system, 2) develop information, education, and communication materials, 3) develop in-service training for ART clinicians, and 4) identify systems for forecasting, procuring and distributing ITNs.